Magical Hag Stones: Folklore and Uses in Witchcraft

Hag Stone is a stone with a hole through it, which is believed to ward off the dead. In European, this stone keeps the «evil hag» spirit away in order to prevent her from stealing horses and children. (see Hag) The hag stone is especially used as a favorite talisman by Cunning Folk to dispel the evil eye. Other people hang this stone in bedrooms to prevent the succubus-hag from ridding on people’s chests during nightmares.

In Italian Witchcraft the holed stone is associated with fairies, and often referred as the holy stone. It is considered a doorway, or key to the doorway, into the fairy kingdom. It Italian folk magic, it is believed these stones have the power to bind a fairy to one’s service for a length of time. A.G.H.

Hag stones

Hag Stones, also known as holey stones, witch stones, or fairy stones, are stones with naturally occurring holes through them. They hold significant folklore and mythological value in various cultures, particularly in Europe. These stones are often used for protective and magical purposes.


European Folklore and Beliefs

  • Warding off Evil Spirits: Hag Stones are believed to protect against evil influences, particularly spirits or witches. The term «hag» in European folklore often refers to a witch or an evil spirit.
  • Protection Against the «Evil Hag»: In some traditions, the stone is used to keep away the «evil hag» spirit to prevent her from stealing horses and children.
  • Talisman Against the Evil Eye: Cunning Folk, practitioners of folk magic, often use Hag Stones as talismans to ward off the evil eye and other malevolent forces.


Usage in Folk Practices

  • Preventing Nightmares: People hang Hag Stones in bedrooms to prevent nightmares, specifically to guard against the succubus-hag, believed to cause oppressive dreams or «ride» on people’s chests during sleep.
  • Cure for Diseases: In certain cultures, Hag Stones are also thought to have healing properties and are used in folk remedies for various ailments.


Italian Witchcraft and Fairy Lore

  • Association with Fairies: In Italian Witchcraft and folklore, Hag Stones are closely associated with fairies. They are often considered as doorways or keys to the fairy kingdom.
  • Binding Fairies: It is believed in Italian folk magic that these stones have the power to bind a fairy to one’s service for a certain period.


Physical Appearance and Formation

  • Natural Formation: The holes in Hag Stones are formed naturally, usually by water eroding the stone over time. This natural process contributes to their mystical attributes.
  • Found Along Water Bodies: They are typically found along rivers, streams, or beaches, where running water has the chance to create these holes.


Symbolism and Modern Use

  • Symbol of Protection: The Hag Stone symbolizes protection and is often used in modern practices of folk magic and witchcraft for this purpose.
  • Continued Folk Interest: There is a continued interest in the lore of Hag Stones in contemporary folk practices, with people using them as protective amulets or in ritual work.

Source: 9, 148; 78, 171.